Title

Beyond the dependent variable problem : the methodological challenges of capturing productive and protective dimensions of social policy

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Social Policy and Society

Publication Date

4-1-2010

Volume

9

Issue

2

First Page

167

Last Page

179

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Abstract

The question of how best to account for the multidimensional character of welfare states has become an integral part of discussions on the so-called dependent variable problem within comparative welfare state research. In this paper, we discuss challenges from an attempt to capture productive and protective welfare state dimensions by means of several methodological techniques, namely Z-score standardisation, cluster analysis, factor analysis and fuzzy-set ideal type analysis. While we illustrate that a decision to use any one of these techniques has a substantial bearing on the produced findings, we specifically argue that fuzzy-set ideal type analysis offers considerable advantages over more traditional, statistically rooted approaches. This is particularly true if the observed dimensions are conceptually distinct and ‘antithetical’.

DOI

10.1017/S1474746409990327

Print ISSN

14747464

E-ISSN

14753073

Publisher Statement

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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Recommended Citation

Hudson, J., & Kühner, S. (2010). Beyond the dependent variable problem: The methodological challenges of capturing productive and protective dimensions of social policy. Social Policy and Society, 9(2), 167-179. doi: 10.1017/S1474746409990327